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Breast cancer and 'the pinking of America': By the numbers
From football uniforms to yogurt containers, everything is turning pink for breast cancer awareness this month, but some think all the color is overshadowing the cause
Pink-clad Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were joined by 300 cancer survivors for a special breast cancer awareness halftime show earlier this month.
Pink-clad Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were joined by 300 cancer survivors for a special breast cancer awareness halftime show earlier this month.
LARRY W. SMITH/epa/Corbis
F

rom cleats on NFL players to KitchenAid appliances, pink is everywhere this month. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has been busy promoting the cause through pink partnerships with hundreds of corporations and pink ribbons everywhere. But, some argue that all the pink products have put too rosy a tone on the disease and that the foundation puts too much money into building awareness at the expense of funding medical research. Here, a brief guide by the numbers:

$420 million
Amount generated by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation in the 2010 fiscal year. It's "a story of savvy marketing," says Natasha Singer in The New York Times. The foundation's chief executive, Nancy G. Brinker, "has rebranded an entire disease by putting an upbeat spin on fighting it."

40,000
Number of women in the U.S. that breast cancer kills annually

450
Number of men

216
Number of corporate partnerships the Komen foundation has put in place this year

$50 million
Amount of revenue the foundation expects from all those partnerships

$4 million
Amount Komen raised last year through a controversial cross-promotion with KFC called "Buckets for the Cure." Some criticized the fried-chicken partnership, noting that obesity can be a risk factor for breast cancer.

$120 million
Amount Komen raised last year through its series of "Race for the Cure" running and walking event. Some 1.7 million attended the 147 races, and the series was Komen's biggest source of revenue

300
Number of breast cancer survivors who participated in a recent Dallas Cowboys halftime show, along with Cowboys cheerleaders bearing pink pompoms. The Komen association helps the Cowboys show their fans, nearly half of whom are female, that the team cares, says the Cowboys' VP of brand management, Charlotte Jones Anderson. 

5
Percent of retail revenue from the special pink New Balance "Lace Up for the Cure Collection" that goes to the Komen foundation. New Balance is obligated to donate at least $500,000 annually

$144.99
Cost of the pink New Balance 993 sneakers in the collection

1,000
Number of Old Navy stores across the country selling pink Komen logo shirts. Again, 5 percent of sales will go to Komen

7
Percent of breast cancer patients in 1997 who opted to have a "preventive" mastectomy and have an unaffected breast removed, according to a study at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

24
Percent of breast cancer patients in 2005 who opted for the procedure, according to the same study. Other studies have also found similarly dramatic increases in the rate of "preventive" mastectomies. "There is an enormous climate of fear, whether that's from Breast Cancer Awareness Month or the news media the other 12 months of the year," says Monica Morrow, a breast cancer specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. "The only thing you ever hear about breast cancer is about some woman who's dying because she didn't get treated in time."

31
Percent chance that women with breast cancer believe they have of developing a new tumor in the unaffected breast, according to a study in this month's Annals of Surgical Oncology

Less than 7
Actual risk of a tumor developing in the opposite breast after 10 years

$141 million
Amount spent by the Komen foundation in 2010 on public health education, which includes breast cancer awareness campaigns

$75 million
Amount spent by the Komen foundation in 2010 to fund medical research

$67 million
Amount spent by the Komen foundation in 2010 on breast cancer screening and treatment

Sources: Detroit Free Press, New Balance, New York Times

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